Political Theory Definitions
“state,” “regime,” “government,” “nation”
set of principles, norms, rules and decision-making procedures through which collective
decisions are made, rules that determine who gets to make decisions and how.
“Third Wave”: an event in one area acts as a catalyst for political revolution in other areas, the
In a sea of democracies, authoritarian regimes will feel pressured to step down.
1) Meaningful and extensive competition, at least 2 policy options, not the same party in
compeition with itself (Egypt in 2000, only a few offices were open to democratic voting)
2) Highly inclusive level of political participation
3) Level of civil and poltiical liberties sufficient to ensure the integrity of political
competion and participation
centralized government, does not tolerate parties of differing opinion and exercises
dictatorial control over all aspects of life, driven by ideology. One-party Totalitarian- Soviet
Union, China, Non-Totalitarian One-Party- Kenya, Tanzania, Taiwan
Fascism v. Communism
intends to control socio-economic life, reject ideology, Hitler created his on class conflict,
then changed by the race, then to the nation
Communism- state plans and holds power, goals shared equally by all
Moderate v. polarized mulitpartism (Sartori)
Party polarization –number of parties seems to be linked to degree of party polarization,
polarized parties have sharper ideological positions, some extreme, some anti-System
Downs's theory of two-party systems
2 party systems produce moderate-centrist parties.
Voters choose the party closest to them ideologically, parties have an incentive to move to
the center to secure more votes.
Duverger's Law: simple majority, single ballot (pluarity) systems lead to two-party systems.
Mechanical effect, electoral rules only reward 1
place party, systematically overrepresent
big parties, not small parties.
Psychological effect, voters realize the ramifications of predominance, voting for the
liberatarian = a wasted vote.
Duverger's Hypothesis: Proportional representation leads to multiparty systems.
Voters go with
smaller preferances, Simple majority, dual ballot.
Vote Threshold (10% voting base) helps prevent against extremist parties
Competitive authoritarian v. Hegemonic electoral authoritarianism